How can you tell if your child is being bullied?
Some children are ashamed or afraid to tell others they are being bullied. Here are some signs that may indicate a child is being bullied:
- lack of confidence
- not wanting to go to school
- not wanting to ride the school bus or trying to find a different route to walk to school
- not wanting to talk about the school day
- drop in school performance
- unexplained crying
- change in behavior, becoming more violent
- talking about someone who is "bugging me" often
What to do if your child is bullied...
- Teach your child problem solving- don't always rush in to solve his/her problems yourself. Doing so, makes your child feel powerless. Instead, help your child identify the problem, brainstorm solutions, try the solutions and evaluate them.
- Teach your child to be assertive. Bullies usually leave assertive children alone because they know they can't gain power over them.
- Help your child design a bully proof strategy and practice it. Try these steps:
Step 1. Cool down. State your position clearly: say how you feel, what you want and then walk away calmly and in control. Example: "Stop teasing me." "It makes me mad when you tease me. Stop it!"
Step 2. If bullying continues, repeat your position. Remain calm, but look the bully in the eye to show that you mean what you say. Appear confident, stand tall and hold your head high. Example: "I asked you to stop. Now STOP." "Back off."
Step 3. Take the offensive. Be strong and assertive, but don't become aggressive or start a fight. Say it like you mean it! Example: "Why are you still teasing me when I asked you to quit?"
Step 4. If this doesn't work, get help from friends to back you up. If the bully threatens violence, get help from an adult.
What to do if your child is bullying others...
- Make it clear that you will not tolerate bullying and that there will be consequences if the behavior continues.
- Determine why your child is bullying.
- Discuss with your child how it might feel to be the vicitm of a bully.
- Emphasize our child's good qualities and reward positive actions.
- Encourage your child's involvement in activities that match his or her interests, volunteering, involvement in clubs or community organizations.
For more information...
- You may contact your child's school and talk with a social worker, Student Learning Advocate, counselor, or Prevention Specialist.
- Find contact information from your student's school: www.anoka.k12.mn.us/schools
- Books and pamphlets are available through the district's Parent Resource Center. Call 763-506-1567.
- Suggested books are The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander by Barbara Coloroso, and, Easing the Teasing...Helping Your Child Cope with Name-Calling, Ridicule, and Verbal Bullying by Judy S. Freeman, M.S.S., L.C.S.W.
- What Adults Can Do To Help, see:
- Communication is an effective tool for parents and guardians when helping their children avoid the dangers that exist on the Internet. NetSmartz provides on- and offline learning activities for parents to facilitate discussions with their children and teens about Internet safety.